Punishments will be counter-productive
Sir, White Van Man in his column ( The
Oban Times, June 8) suggests the death penalty for terrorists and deportation for those associated with terrorism.
This proposal appears to be more of an appeal to populism than a wellreasoned argument.
The death penalty, apart from the humanitarian argument against it, has a fundamental flaw as in the mind of a radicalised terrorist, life is meaningless, death is glory. There is no fear of death and to enact the death penalty would surely only serve to further radicalise and offer them the additional reward of martyrdom. I imagine there would be more fear of being locked up for a life of hard labour than of state-sanctioned murder.
Then there’s the suggestion deportation is the answer. Deport them to where – Tower Hamlets? Barking? Hackney? The largest comprehensive study (Gatestone Institute) on UK terrorism carried out between 1998 and the present day shows 72 per cent of attacks are perpetrated by UK or dual passport holders.
One point White Van Man didn’t mention and I think is a possibility, is that radicalised persons going abroad and training with terrorists should have their UK passports revoked.
So, what is the answer? I honestly don’t know.
Every time there’s an attack we inevitably hear ‘known to security services’. Many times, we’re told that a parent, friend or the wider community have reported the individual but no action was taken. So why was nothing done?
Perhaps the answer lies in the reality this government has cut security budgets to the bone. They simply don’t have the resources. Even a small proportion of revenue from arms deals with Saudi Arabia, which funds the terrorists, would help in the fight against homegrown terrorism. Extreme irony.
Then we may consider why radicalisation happens. We bomb their relatives, accept maimed, mutilated and murdered mothers and children as collateral damage then wonder why those here in the UK are upset? Let’s stop funding terrorism and radicalising the youth.
My thoughts on crime and punishment are somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan - but only if that punishment is effective. John Paterson, by email.